With basically every single rapper, from Schoolboy Q(“Swimming Pools(Black Hippy Remix)”) to Rick Ross(“Diced Pineapples”), mentioning Ciroc in their rap lyrics within the past year, Ciroc seems to have taken a very interesting and competitive niche, specifically that of the luxury hard alcohol market. Ciroc’s “Lucky Be A Lady” ad features a star-studded cast, with people like hip hop mogul, P. Diddy and Aaron Paul, actor from the hit show Breaking Bad. They’re all suited up and P. Diddy pep talks them into raking in a couple of million and that they’ll do it all over again the next day.(0:08 of the clip) They get off a private jet and head into Vegas, where beautiful women are and shots (both actual and film shots) of Ciroc are all over the commercial, although there are probably 2-3 actual relatively short clips of Ciroc. This ad is genius in telling a story and having a narrative that associates this luxury, leisurely lifestyle with the product itself.
In Veblen’s “Veblen mentions that “In order to gain and to hold the esteem of men it is not sufficient merely to possess wealth or power. The wealth or power must be put in evidence, for esteem is awarded only on evidence.” (24) This is signified throughout the ad with various products featured. The private jet, the Escalades, tons of beautiful women, and of course, Las Vegas, a city that is known for notorious money spending and one of the cities that promotes leisure as its focal point for visiting. These goods, or this “evidence” as Veblen states, juxtaposed with the fact that they are only drinking Ciroc, associates Ciroc with these high priced, luxury items and the famous, good looking men and women, which basically says that Ciroc is not any high-end alcoholic beverage, it is the high-end alcoholic drink. Veblen then states how a waste of either “time and effort” or a waste of “goods” are excellent “methods of demonstrating the possession of wealth”(53). This ad particularly focuses on a waste of “goods” particularly in gambling casinos in Las Vegas. Considering that P. Diddy & Company are planning to “rake a couple million” and “break the bank,” it is implied that they in fact will spend close to that much. They have expendable wealth if they are talking about millions; wealth they can spend in casinos, women, jets, and even Ciroc.
Veblen calls a “life of leisure” the “readiest and most conclusive evidence of pecuniary strength,” making it a “superior force” that reinforces and promotes living in “ease and comfort” as the ultimate signifier of wealth and comfort. Veblen states leisure is seen as the “ability to afford a life of idleness”(25). What’s great about this ad is that it’s basically framing it in a way that is a spectator sport for the viewer, as they can only watch along as they spend money, win money, drink, dance, and cheers on the rooftop. It’s subtle in it’s meanings and associations and almost has a casualness to it. Ciroc is apparently for people who, as Diddy put it, “work hard, play hard” and are “looking good & feeling good”. They are hard workers, since most are actors, but this ad focuses more on what they do in their leisure time and suggests that they do in fact, play as hard as they work.
Veblen, Thorstein. Conspicuous Consumption. New York: Penguin, 2006. Print.